Wednesday, November 11, 2009

accident inducing billboard

dubai is a fairly safe city to drive in. it's not as safe as, say, a german city, mind you, what with the cab drivers and abu dhabi drivers, but the other day i nearly crashed into a car next to me because i was craning my neck following a billboard. alas, it didn't have a hot girl, it had a clever little ad utilizing letters common between words to create the synergy of being home and roaming. it was scrabble-tile words, one saying "home" the other "roaming" with the m at the intersection. not terribly original, but at least readable. what nearly caused my crash is the same sign in arabic. to those not familiar with arabic, letters are always linked up when used in words (sorta like cursive in english), but it's worse because the letters' shapes actually change. you know what that means to the silly billboard?

it means when the scrabble tiles have arabic letters in them, the words are almost impossible to read.

which brings me to my point: why the fuck do we translate commercials? not everything goes across between english and arabic well. hell most things don't go well at all. and with the cleverness and wittiness in the world of advertising, the problem is duly compounded.

so for god's sake, if you're into advertising, be creative and create campaigns for arabic!

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